SSISD lunch prices increasing for first time since 2003

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Aug 14, 2007 - Construction at Sulphur Springs High School is nearing completion, and is finished at Early Childhood Learning Center.

Crews went over the final “punch list” for cafeteria dry wall work, and issued “certificate of substantial completion” and closeout documents at ECLC over the last month. So far, $1.6 million of the $1.8 million designated for the project has been spent, construction officials told school board Monday night.

At SSHS, the punch lists for the science and band hall additions were compiled. The crawl space sump pump was reworked to better drain water in the crawl space at the band hall addition as well. In the renovated areas, finishing touches were done to the restrooms; most of the millwork was installed in the old science lab classrooms; the walls, ceiling grid, electrical rough-in and ramp were installed at the band hall; “tecturm” or sound panels were installed in the cafeteria, which was also painted; the tilt-wall panels on the main building were painted, and paint work started at the Vocational Agriculture building. Crews were working on punch lists for completing these projects, and the frame work for the metal canopy is being installed in front of the main public entrance. The top of the canopy is to be completed one weekend after school begins, the project manager told the board during Monday night’s board meeting.

After some discussion, Judy Gillem made the motion with Jack Chubb seconding, in favor of a 25-cent increase in the cost of student and adult lunches, and a 50-cent increase in lunch entree costs. The board on a 6-0 vote — Carolyn Thomas was absent — approved the rate increases. It was noted this is the first time since 2003 that the lunch rate has increased.

�The student lunch cost at elementary will increase to $1.75 and secondary to $2. Adult lunch at all campuses will be $$2.50, and entrees would be $1.50.�

The increases won’t effect the cost to “income qualifying households for reduced-price meals.” Adult meals cost more because “’non-student meals do not receive any type of federal/state reimbursement or commodity assistance,” hence the higher price for those meals. Breakfast costs will also remain unchanged.

Child Nutrition Program Director Rickie Elliott, in an memo to Support Services Director Judy Tipping on Aug. 6, made the recommendation as a way to “lessen the impact of rising food and labor costs on the current food service fund balance.”

The increase will help keep the district’s food service program operating “in the black.”

The board also renewed the contract with Upper East Texas Tech-Prep/School-to-Work Partnership, and endorsed Robert Sheppard as a candidate for Texas Association of School Boards Board of Directors-Region VIII.

The board was reorganized in lieu of Carolyn Thomas’s continued absence due to family matters. Don Sapaugh will serve as vice president and Clay Johnson as secretary of the school board. The district also will continue to use Texas Association of Public Schools with Offenhauser and Company of Texarkana for district property/casualty insurance.

Scott Keys and the Sulphur Springs News-Telegram, and Bill Bradford and KSST Radio were recognized Monday night by Sulphur Springs Independent School District Board of Education for their coverage of school events and topics.

The board especially noted both KSST and the News-Telegram’s “balanced reporting of news about public schools.” The school nominated both for recognition on Texas Association of School Boards’ Media Honor Roll. 

�W take great pride in doing this,� Board president Foy Williams said. �We commend you on positive impact the media has on the district.�

�Hopkins County is very fortunate to have these representatives in our news media. ... I say the county because they also cover county school as well,� SSISD Superintendent Patsy Bolton said during Monday night�s regular August board of trustees meeting. �It says Bill Bradford and Scott Keys. This is for the staff as well. They are the ones out on the campuses doing the work. They approve it and you do it. We do appreciate what you all have done and continue to do.�

The Media Honor Roll recognizes “media representatives who (1) make the effort to get to know the superintendent, board president, and district’s mission and goals; (2) report school news in a manner that is fair, accurate, and balanced; (3) give a high-profile position to good news about schools; (4) visit the schools; and (5) maintain a policy of no surprises by sharing information with school representatives,” according to http://www.tasb.org/services/communications/recognition/media.aspx

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